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Cicero 2015 Red Ribbon We
Orthodox Christian Coalition for Healthy Youth 
 OCCHY is a unique national alliance founded and supported by the Department of Youth and Parish Ministries of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese. We are establishing, training and leading substance abuse prevention and intervention coalitions across America.
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The Healthy Youth Initiative


Fr. Joseph Purpura, Chairman of the Department of Youth and Parish Ministries, and Kh. Kathleen Purpura, Youth Consultant and Executive Director of OCCHY, work with the White House Director of the Drug Free Communities Program, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the staff of the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA), and local coalition leaders to establish substance prevention coalitions across America. The Healthy Youth initiative offers communities an opportunity to heighten awareness of how to combat substance abuse, prevent bullying, encourage sexual abstinence outside of marriage, and encourage respect for the sanctity of the human body.


OCCHY is developing local community networks to address substance abuse prevention and healthy living in parishes of each diocese. Each local chapter is trained in coalition building in their community. Local chapter members are a resource in training and developing coalitions beyond their geographic area by helping other parishes within their diocese, other Orthodox Christian jurisdictions and other faith-based communities. By developing a model for faith-based coalition building, we are establishing, training, and leading substance abuse prevention and intervention coalitions across America.





OCCHY connects Orthodox Christian Church communities to public and private sector professionals and community advocates to establish a healthier environment for our youth. Each local coalition offers and promotes:

  • distinctive substance abuse solutions
    through policy change, environmental design modification and substance abuse prevention tactics
  • healthy sexuality and righteous living through awareness, education and mentoring

Study Finds Youth Smokers Begin their Habit Because of Sweet Flavoring

Analysis by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found that most teens who use tobacco start with flavored products.

“Consistent with national school-based estimates, this study confirms widespread appeal of flavored products among youth tobacco users,” the authors, led by Bridget K. Ambrose of the Center for Tobacco Products at the FDA, wrote in their study’s abstract.

Read the story posted on the CADCA building drug-free communities web site:

Cicero Coalition Speakers



Underage Substance Use and Your Brain


Underage Alcohol Prevention


Parents & Adolescent Alcoholism


Communication & Adolescent Behavior Trends

OCCHY Cicero YouTube page

Cicero Coalition marks many milestones

St. Sava Serbian Summer Campers taking Core Measures Survey

Go to  to read more news on our Cicero - Greater Chicago Healthy Youth Efforts...

OCCHY Chicago Produces New Hookah Prevention Materials

Order Hookah Health Risks for 60 cents each, plus shipping costs by
e-mailing:  or call 1-708-298-9770


Is Your Teen Using Drugs?


Check out: 




Hookah Reading Material Handout

produced by OCCHY Chicago


Hookah Reading Material Handout



Hookah Is Still Tobacco



Hookah contains 5 times more cancer causing agents than cigarettes.



Help Prevent Tobacco Use



Greater Chicago Area Bishops Endorse the work of OCCHY



Letter size poster
18" X 24" Poster 



OCCHY – Cicero/Greater Chicago awarded a $125,000
Drug Free Communities Award





“Unless the Lord builds the house, They labor in vain who build it” (Ps.127:1) 



OCCHY is a 501c3 non-profit alliance.
Monies from every donation and purchase are used to promote Healthy Youth efforts and to expand the development of substance prevention coalitions.

Help us keep our young people safe. alive, and in the Church!
Your generous support helps us serve young people, their families and their communities. 



For more information contact:

V. Rev. Dr. Joseph F. Purpura


Khouriyee Kathleen A. Purpura